The Decatur (Ill.) Park District plans to decrease the green fees at one of its three municipal properties. The lower price would be combined with speed golf and special events to market the property as a fun, less traditional golf course.
Faced with ongoing problems getting golfers to its courses, the Decatur Park District may resort to new tactics next year: lowering the price at Scovill Golf Course, the Decatur (Ill.) Herald-Review reported.
The park district’s board of commissioners appeared to agree on October 22 with a staff recommendation to lower the cost for 18 holes with a cart at Scovill Golf Course to $29, all seven days a week, starting in 2015. Nine holes with a cart would come to $19, the Herald-Review reported.
Prices at Hickory Point Golf Course and Red Tail Run Golf Course would remain flat, with 18 holes and a cart costing adult players about $40 weekdays and $43 on weekends. Those prices currently apply to Scovill Golf Course as well, the Herald-Review reported.
Chief Financial Officer Rodney Buhr said the unconventional move would be targeted to attract more people to the course, particularly those who have never golfed or do not golf often. The lower price would be combined with new offerings, such as speed golf and special events, to market Scovill as a “fun,” less traditional course, the Herald-Review reported.
There will also be golf clubs available so that people can try out the sport without making a big investment in equipment, the Herald-Review reported.
“It’s out of the box, a different way of looking at things,” he said. “We’ve closed courses, we’ve cut costs, we haven’t filled positions, so kind of just the natural sequence is, what’s left?”
Buhr pointed out that the change won’t help the district if golfers simply move from Hickory Point and Red Tail to the less expensive Scovill. The district must attract 1,455 more rounds of golf and 1,600 more cart rentals in order to bring in the same amount of revenue as this year, the Herald-Review reported.
Park board President Jack Kenny said the district would also seek to change Scovill’s course so that it is not as challenging, which could encourage less-frequent golfers to come out. “I think we had to do something,” he said.
The discussion came during the board’s annual consideration of facility fees and its tax levy for the coming year, both of which are expected to receive a vote at the next meeting November 5, the Herald-Review reported.